In 33 days I’ll be on a flight to the beautiful city of Nashville Tennessee. As a country music fan as well, this is sure to be the trip of a lifetime. As a Canadiens fan, it might also be a nightmare – but I don’t really want to address that until I absolutely have to.
However, as a hockey fan, and a prospect fan in general, the first night of the draft will be an exciting and educational experience. It will be interesting to see which players rise, fall, and even ultimately don’t make that 32-cut.
The first of what will be a two-part series will focus on the risers.
By referencing the DobberProspects April Top-32 Rankings, it is easy to see which players will likely go higher than our draft team would pick them.
Many believe that David Reinbacher is the best defenseman in the draft. The team here at Dobber may disagree, with him being ranked 16th, and him being our third-ranked blueliner in the class.
His appeal is undeniable – he’s great defensively, has above-average tools, and could play meaningful NHL minutes as soon as this season.
What he lacks, however, is a true elite skill that sets him apart from other defensemen. The difference between a top-pairing, and a top-four defenseman is pretty big, but there are doubts whether Reinbacher can make that leap.
His safety and readiness will surely have him off the board before 16, however.
Colby Barlow’s shot is exhilarating. The pure amount of strength he can get through the puck gives him a truly elite skill.
The other parts of his game lull behind, however.
His combination of size and shot will make him an exciting option for teams looking for a point man, and an almost guaranteed NHLer. I wouldn’t be particularly surprised to see him go top-10, despite the fact that he is ranked 22nd from us.
This one is surprising for me. I usually have the tendency to favour undersized intelligent wingers, but when it comes to Gabe Perreault, consensus has passed me up by a massive margin.
Perreault put up 132 points this season with the USNDTP, which has clearly set him apart from other undersized players, such as Luca Pinelli and Gavin Brindley.
The incredible chemistry he has with Will Smith and Ryan Leonard has made him a possible top-15 pick, despite his skating deficiencies. Dobber, very similarly to my own personal rankings, has him at the end of the first round.
Thanks for reading! You can catch me on Twitter with monthly personal rankings updates @itovitch , and at the Puck and Roll Podcast!